Memorandum from David Price of David Price Solicitors and Advocates


John, I understand that Mark Stephens told your committee words to the effect that no rational lawyer would do defendant CFA work (I hope that this accurate). As I mentioned to you previously we do a large amount of CFA work for defendants in defamation and privacy cases. Most of it is for individuals who would have no representation (and therefore no access to justice) at all if we were not acting for them. We also act for the Telegraph on CFAs. I hope that any reforms to CFA will not hinder representation to defendants. Mark is correct to the extent that it is commercially very risky to do defendant work. If your reforms make it both risky and unremunerative the result is likely that will we have to stop acting for defendants which will mean that many will have no access to justice (no doubt legal aid is out of the question) and in some cases will go bankrupt even though what they have said is true / comment or privileged, just because they cannot afford to fight. You can have the names of the many defendants we have helped. If you have interviewed claimants who have been represented on CFAs, why not defendants?


June 2009